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Victoria Challis NEBOSH National Diploma

We are delighted to look back at the learning experience of Victoria Challis who passed the NEBOSH Diploma. We sat down with Victoria to understand how she juggled a young family, a career and a qualification all at the same time. 

November 2021


NEBOSH National Diploma

Successfully juggling balls in health and safety

Working and managing a young family is in itself a challenge for even the super organised but Victoria decided it was time to up the tempo and together with her company set herself the goal of completing the NEBOSH Diploma. She met the challenge with some trepidation but her determination enabled her to exceed all expectations: Victoria successfully completed the NEBOSH Diploma with a distinction and to her delight also won best candidate for Unit B in 2015.

She shares her experience of completing the NEBOSH Diploma and the impact it has had upon her job role. 

As well as juggling many balls what is the day job?

She works for Haltermann Carless UK Ltd a leading global provider of solutions for high value speciality hydrocarbons as a SHE Advisor. Victoria works at the refinery in Harwich which employs 100 staff members and is an upper tier COMAH site which presents additional responsibilities for the SHE function. In her role, Victoria along with her manager acts as an independent advisory function for all safety, health and environmental matters for staff on site; this covers a wide range of issues including regulator and stakeholder liaison, risk assessments, COSHH assessments, HAZOP studies, producing safety data sheets, emergency planning, audits and ISO14001 / OHSAS18001 management systems to name a few.

Why take on the NEBOSH Diploma challenge?

Having completed the NEBOSH General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety when she started working in health and safety, Victoria had always planned to further her studies with the NEBOSH Diploma. The company was keen to enhance the knowledge and skills of their SHE function and recognised that the NEBOSH Diploma is the essential qualification to demonstrate a professional level of competence. So Victoria took up the challenge and embarked on the next stage of her professional development commencing this much demanded qualification in September 2013.

Confident to choose the right learning partner

Victoria was attracted to a classroom block release learning method and the convenient central London location Astutis offered was ideal. In addition, other colleagues had successfully completed their NEBOSH certificate with Astutis distance learning. These key factors prompted Victoria and her company to choose Astutis as her learning partner.

Learning effectively is essential

Victoria had to find the best way to study the NEBOSH Diploma that would suit her busy life and preferred method of study; she found the structured classroom learning the best fit. As part of this method, she also valued the flexible approach to classroom learning which provides access to digital notes and the comprehensive resources library on her iPad ideal for when she was ‘on-the-go’. She particularly found the classroom interaction with other professionals’ sharing their experiences as useful and benefited from being able to access the tutor so easily. She enjoyed having a mix of NEBOSH Diploma tutors for each week, some of whom are also NEBOSH Examiners who provided an interesting and varied approach to learning sharing their diverse experiences and ‘real life’ examples of concepts.

Qualification brings changes to the job

With now having fewer balls to juggle, Victoria’s study of health and safety legislation, hazardous agents and the workplace and equipment has enabled her to clarify her understanding and become more confident in her job. She feels better placed to provide
reassurance or challenge points of view with colleagues on health and safety areas drawing on her learning. She has been motivated by developing her breadth and depth of knowledge having been exposed to brand new concepts and topic areas. She also valued being reminded of the importance of the day to day tasks that underpin a safe working environment.

Future looks bright

Victoria has joined IOSH as a graduate member and is now working towards chartered membership. She has embarked upon her Initial Professional Development (IPD), a structured assessment procedure to measure knowledge, commitment and experience. She is also considering becoming a NEBOSH examiner. She is pleased with her achievement in spite of the time challenges but observes “I feel it has helped me personally as well as professionally having gained recognition in my workplace for achieving this level of qualification.”

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